Thursday, January 31, 2008


I have been able to do a little sewing for my Little Fashion doll. (9 1/2" tall.) Sometimes I am able go two days without being sick. and my hands don't tremble too much. I am sewing on this nice little 'Teagown' in cotton, which makes it a House Dress, or an 'At Home; dress. In those days, women changed their attire about four to six times a days. depending on their economic status. The wealthy maybe did eight or more. So a woman needed a lot of clothes.
This is a 'princess' style dress. Which means, that it is a gored to fit one piece dress, and hasn't a waist seam. The style was very popular and made in suitible fabrics a fashion that could worn for any function. What I find very ironic and interesting, is that back then, Clothing was very complicated. One had a lot of work to keep clothing wearable.
This dress is made of a soft pink print cotton.
Now we have machine washable and dry cleaning, and clothing is very simple and we have easy care fabric. Somehow history is upside down, in that quarter.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I received the February copy of Good Housekeeping a couple of weeks ago. As I was browsing through. Found an article about procastination. Looked like a good article. So, I turned down the page and went on. I've just not had the time to go back and read it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


This is a ornamental blooming cherry or plum tree right here in our cul-de-sac. It always blooms in December and January. The first tree to bloom. A harbinger of Spring.

--AND SNOW-----

This is Mt. Hamilton where the observatory is. In the high foothills in back of us.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I have re-written the last part of the part-1. Go back and read it.

We had a very nice time in Edinburgh. It is a pretty place place to visit. We walked 'the Lady's Mile' and did some shopping. I did find a lot i would have liked to buy, except I had to consider, suitcase space and money. I bought a cherry pink cashmere sweater and a length of matching flannel to make skirt with. I never did get skirt made up. But I did wear out the sweater. And what a surprise, the young woman who waited on us, was an exchange student. Turned out she was from the same state and town my Hb. is from. Isn't that something? I went looking for antique shops, and found some things. But, decided to only buy a set of repro Staffordshire dogs made by the Beswick Porcelain co. We went up to Edinburgh castle, My first castle. This is where the coffee incedent took place. Got the tour. I could quite feel the history in the stones. But, I didn't let it overwhelm me. My memories are quite sketchy. We would have liked to have another day. But, it was time to take the train down to London.
I didn't take pictures, I was lazy and didn't want hassle going thru customs and security. So, I would just purchase a booklet of the city. Except, I've lost them now.
Here is pic of the set of porcelain dogs. They sit about 6" tall. I still have them.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I am just trying to survive the cold. For few years there, after working in the freezing flower shops. I thought I had gotten rather immune to cold. But, this year it caught up to me. This year, the cold is really bothering me.
Today, when Hb. went out. He actually found some Primrose bedding plants for me. He is not going to plant them until we see when the weather is amenable.
I have been reading a book, 'Queen Without A Country' about Berengaria of Navarre, who had the misfortune to be married to Richard the 'Lionheart'. I found out something that, until now has always been glossed over for some reason, in history. Navarre was a Basque kingdom. Berengaria was a Basque Princess.
Makes me wonder, what would have been the outcome for the basques today, if Berengaria had a son for the Plantagenets. That poor girl was badly used. But, so were all Princesses, always. They were only pawns on the chessboards of history. With only a very few exceptions.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


After a two year absence, we finally had fog yesterday. It was still around all day. Didn't break up until about 5:00PM. Nice. Today-sunny. Oh well.

Monday, January 14, 2008


In that previous entry I did about the DeLemos craft books. I mentioned some of the projects I did make, by being inspired by toys in the books. The picture shows the pieces I saved back for myself. I haven't made anymore since. I had an entire banker's style storage box full of wood pieces to make a hundred more. But, one of the times we moved, I knew I would never get back to them. So, we gave the box to a special school. They were delighted.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


It's raining now,
Perhaps five inches,
we will get.
Water for the holding pond
For they are almost gone.
Which is good, because
in the mountains, will be snow.
Water for us. And a place
for the ski bunnies to go.
Wind came in a blast
blowing strong and fast.
Bending trees so low,
they try to survive the blow.
CRACK, they split asunder
echoing the thunder.
Rain in blinding sheets,
deluge the hills and the streets.
In torrents, muddy water douses
mud into backyards and houses.
All that we can do,
is endure, until
the sky again, turns blue.
Nature always has it's way.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Pitts are dangerous. No two ways about. In fact all dogs can turn. I have a lot of dog tales I could tell here. But, there are so many that are adamant about the adage: no bad dogs, just bad owners. Out here where I live, Almost every week, there is a story about pitt bull attacks. 'BUT HE/SHE WAS SUCH A NICE DOG'. Yeah!
And yes, I have had a close brush with a Pitt. Close call. Thank God and all the Angels. The dog listened to me.
No, I'd rather not go into the details. I did not get hurt.

Sunday, January 6, 2008



With the weather turning wet and cold. And I am more less stuck at home. I am now and will be getting cabin fever. It started me thinking about how much I used to be able to go out running. Also when we were able to travel.
Besides being an Artist of some kind, my second wish was to travel. To go to Europe to see great historic places and museums for art . I'm not sure if there were specific destinations at first. But to just go. Anywhere, that I could get to.
So, at last in July- 1970 we had saved enough money for our first trip. There was a group called; The British American Club. A group for British people so they could go back to visit relatives. So, we joined it, because they were able to bulk book and get a great discount for the flights. Also discounts on hotels and tours.
The way we were able to join, is that I am mainly British in ethnicity. Even though my family has a few generations here since immigrating.
Our first destination was to Great Britain. The trip was for two weeks. And my very first flight was, I think, ten or twelve hours. A half day. The Sun goes down, then comes right back up. What a sight.
We had signed for a three city tour. Wow. Our first stop, Glasgow, Scotland. I got to experience my first culture shock. Delightful. The first time someone spoke to me, I wanted to cry and hug them. The people at the airport, seemed to mainly speak Brit English. So, a Scottish accent let me know, 'you are not in Kansas anymore'. Was I gauche? probably. Did I care? Not a whit! I just reveled in having my feet somewhere besides Home. To realize my feet were walking in another land was an exciting experience.
We had a room in an older hotel. Very much like a 1940's up scale hotel.
We stayed there 2, maybe 3 days. Oh, yeah. You can't get anything to eat after 6:00PM. Because, EVERYTHING CLOSES. We had forgotten to consider that. What a joke on us. But, we welcomed the added adventure and adjusted as quickly as we could. Either that, or go hungry for twelve hours. However, the service people at the hotel, were up to it. There were serveral of us newbies. And the concierge, went to the bar kitchen and made cheese sandwiches and tea, for twelve. We all laughed about the situation. Took it in stride, enjoyed the experience.
For breakfast, we discovered: Scottish bannock and scones. Scottish breakfast biscuits, called 'Baps' are wonderful, with creme and marmalade. Oh, gee, yumm. Just only eat one though, they do add up the calories. Considering the size. One is enough. British marmalade is the best. I only ate it when I was there. The stuff that's made here is pap.
We spent two days in Glasgow. Then took the train to Edinburgh. Actually my first time on any train. O(ne happy thing after another. Mostly we never had a problem about finding accommodations. We spent one night at the old Railroad Hotel 19th.Century style. But, with central heating. Oh, so neat. Like time travel. a step back in time. We were only able to stay the one night at that wonderful 19th century hotel. They had found us a room in one the NEW modern hotel. Very up to date. We should like it. -NOT- . It was one of the worst hotels I've ever had the misfortune to stay at. The room was just big enough to contain a regular size bed, a closet and a night stand. English showers leave a lot to be desired. The bathroom is probably 3' by 4'. Small. But, at least there was a shower, that WORKED. British plumbing was very iffy. We spent three days in Edinburgh. I then became acquainted with the British version of coffee. Remember, they drink tea. When they make coffee, they call it french style coffee. Because it is made quite strong, because over there, coffee is taken: half coffee, half milk. Viola-cafe au latte'.
I told the server, that in my part of the USA we call coffee that strong, 'cowboy' or 'ranch' coffee. She was quite amused and I made her laugh. Anyway, she said, Americans, are served the coffee with a small pot of hot water to dilute with. Perfect. I don't do milk in either tea or coffee. Just sweetener.
This is just the beginning.

No, no photos. I don't believe in them.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


This is story I sort of meant use for a December entry. But, I missed. But, Christmas isn't really 'completely' over until January-6th.
I want to show you these two books. I found them in a bookstore that had just opened before Christmas, the summer of the last year, my country school ran. Now, I know that is a very long sentence. But, if I gave real dates. It would give me away.
Anyway, one of the times we went Christmas shopping, I 'HAD' to go to the bookstore. To me it was joy and riches to see all of those books for sale. Mom and Dad let me have almost half an hour there. I was 12.
I had a great time going through the books. Then I found the Crafts books. Oh, my. So many and such amazing things to make. I was just so enthralled. When I spotted these two books. By someone named: Pedro De Lemos. I didn't know who he was then. However, I realized he must be quite well known in the greater Arts and Crafts field.
The books were $4.00 each. Quite high. I knew they were expensive. But, I took a chance and showed them to my Dad. Both he and Mom weren't sure. The books seemed indulgent and frivolous. Also, I had just had a birthday, so I wasn't due for a present until Christmas. and that was a couple of months away. Please, that's ok, buy them for my Santa present after the school play in December. Well, if we do you can't have them until then. I said, that's ok. Besides they will not be really a surprise. Yes, but I will look forward to having them. Hum, well ok. And that's how I got them. Mom, already had a present ordered for me, so, the craft books were from Daddy.
I have looked at these books, over the years and tried to make some of the things pictured. But, most of the projects called for materials no one knew about. Such as; whiting. What is whiting? I finally found out it is just plaster, screened extra fine.
I did make some of the paper projects. They were simple and I could use any sort of paper. I did some potato stamps. Messy. Not for me. Tried soap and wax carving. That was not my talent. I still have the soap horse. It's still in my cedar chest.
But, what really captivated me, were the wooden toys. I didn't get to make any of those until I was an adult. And I sold them in a local gallery. So, after all, the books have been well used. And my parents got to see, what I made and that I could sell them.
There were people out there who found my toys pleasing.
I did find out about more about DeLemos, because when I went to college, I asked my art instructors and I found more books by him in the libraries. I, of course checked them out. But, I never bought any more of them, because the first two had projects that appealed to me more than in the rest of the series. The treasured craft books remain a strong source of inspiration for me yet.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Well, I watched the Rose Parade again this year. Got to see it at least six times.
I liked all of the floats. They were quite original and the themes very well realized.
It was nice that the weather was good for the parade. All of the bands did well. Loved everyone of the horse groups. Aren't curly coats interesting. Nature likes to through a curve every so often. Just to keep us alert. This year, I'm not sure I have a favorite float. They were all so lovely. A great deal of talent And engineering skill went into each one. Terrific.

Now, just to put in a downer. This Friday past a bunch of drunken underage hooligans, broke into the Robert Frost home in Vermont and totally demolished the inside and part of the outside. Young people seem to have absolutely no regard or empathy for rules of any kind. No, respect, no reverence for other's rights and property. Why is this? Don't their parents teach them anything. They let them grow without supervision. They all end up being savage sociopaths.
This is very like the incident france, where a rabble of young drunen hooligans broke into an Art Museum and vandalized almost all of the precious, valuable artworks.